Precious in the Sight of the Lord

I’ve been reading from the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine lately (July, 1800). It relates whatever information “on the subject of religion and morals may contribute to the advancement of genuine piety and pure morality” (p. 3). I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Here’s a paragraph I read this evening that was good–

Among the  mysterious dispensations of Providence, is to be numbered the death of pious and useful persons in the prime of their days. Human wisdom would pronounce it best that such characters should be continued long on the earth; but a sovereign God often teacheth us, by his conduct, that all our calculations on this, as well as on other subjects, are vain. His way is in the sea, and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known. Let us submit to his holy will, when our brightest earthly prospects are darkened, and our fairest hopes are destroyed (pp. 54-55).

That reminded me of Paul’s words in Philippians 1:12-14, and of the William Cowper hymn we sang last Sunday morning–

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sov’reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.